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WWII soldier receives posthumous Purple Heart after 70 years

August 14, 2017
In The News

PATCHOGUE - A soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War II was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart on Friday.

Pfc. Roy B. DeWitt was shot in the foot in Holland and became a prisoner of war. He died in 1944 and was buried in Belgium.

A massive fire in the 1970s destroyed DeWitt's records at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. It took some legwork by Michele Muller, DeWitt's great niece, to get the needed paperwork and the assistance of Rep. Lee Zeldin to get to the bottom of it all. Zeldin credits Muller's hard work for finally getting DeWitt the proper recognition.

"One family member 70 years later wanted to make it right...she did the heavy lifting to finish this process," says Zeldin.

Muller says doing the research allowed her to feel closer to her family roots. She says she looks forward to one day visiting his grave in Belgium.